Name of the Author: Radhika Nathan
Rating: 4 Stars
After a long time, I am reading a book which gave me the same feeling that one gets after reading books like the Tomb Raider- that of an explorer. Meet our desi Lara Croft – Vidya.
What is the story about:
Two brothers Josh and Tom who are complete opposites yet their love for each other binds them together. While Tom is into ancient art and history, Josh loves hacking and other gizmos. But when Tom acquires an ancient Nataraja for the museum, he starts questioning its originality. Being physically challenged, he has to ask his brother, Josh, for help. Josh has to travel to India to check out the authenticity of the statue. There he meets Vidya and a love-hate relationship starts between them. You can say that throughout the story, Vidya is the charioteer who is showing Josh across India.
A few sweet moments:
I love the way, the author has introduced India to the readers, through Josh’s eyes. The love story between Josh and Vidya does not overshadow the thriller aspect of this novel. There is also a background story, which had occurred centuries ago and has a lot of impact on the events that was occurring throughout this novel.
Ms. Nathan has woven a tale of intrigue and there are not many ‘whodunnit’ moments in this story. In fact, you cannot say that there are lots of suspects nor many nail-biting incidents, except one or two, in this novel. You can call it more of an exploration. Of a journey of a man who could not walk and uses the eye of another to know what is happening. Few things that make this novel a page-turner is the built-up to curiosity, to know if the artifact is indeed authentic or not.
A few tough calls
This novel forms an interesting read no doubt, but calling at the thriller will not be appropriate. When a guy is following Vidya. I expected something to happen. You can say that as a reader I’m jaded due to a lot of melodramas that goes on in the movies. The story made me wonder that if such a situation had happened in my life, were these not the steps that I would take as a normal person? I suppose as a reader, especially of that of the thriller genre, one expects a lot of melodrama, which is lacking in this novel. Some might like it and some may not – and it entirely depends on the individualistic taste of a reader.
What I liked
Relationships are given a lot of importance in this novel. The relationship between a father and a daughter and that of the two brothers is well-written. One does not have to always agree with their loved ones to show a good relationship. The author has brought the sensitivities of their relationship very beautifully out in this novel. Let’s take the relationship between Tom and Josh. Josh did not have to do what Tom asked him to do, yet he goes all the way out to fulfill the dream of his brother.
I like the way the relationship between Josh and Vidya developed. They took the time to understand each other and it was very subtle throughout the novel.
Cultural and ideological boundaries are crossed over in this novel and it makes a fascinating read to see how each react to each other’s culture. With the world shrinking, such cases are not rare anymore and we have started accepting it to a great extent. Some of us find it cute too.
What I didn't like
As I have mentioned before, the thriller aspect of this novel is not as fast-paced as I expected it to be. When Tom first speaks about the artifact, I had expected a lot of action to go behind in finding the truth. But nothing like that happened. It can be any guy, walking on the streets of India and searching for some truth. There was nothing extraordinary about the characters under the extraordinary situation – and this was the main problem that I had with this novel.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK?
The language of the book is superb and the editing is very well done. For those who love a clean and a –well-written thriller, this book is a must-read.
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